A Pennsylvanian mother won a $143,500 lawsuit Wednesday, after a local child welfare agency took her child away for five days after she tested positive for opiates in a hospital drug test. Because she ate a poppy-seed bagel.
As stated in the lawsuit, "Elizabeth Mort never imagined that the last thing she ate before giving birth to her daughter—a poppy-seed bagel—would lead to the loss of her newborn, but that is exactly what happened."
Mort's lawyers argued that "the cut-off concentration levels used by [the hospital] to determine whether an initial or confirmation prenatal drug test is positive for opiates and/or morphine are so low that they are likely to produce false positive results." You think?
The lawsuit has also instigated a change in the hospital's testing policies. The ACLU lawyer who represented Mort says that from now on, health authorities will only report positive drug tests from the infant's first bowel movement, not from the mother's urine.
In an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Mort said, "I am happy that the changes made by [the agency] and the hospital will prevent similar situations to others in the future."
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